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Long Distance Hiking recommended route

Dolomites High Altitude Trail 3

Long Distance Hiking · Hochpustertal
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Outdooractive Editors Verified partner 
  • Kriegsanlagen am Monte Piana
    Kriegsanlagen am Monte Piana
    Photo: Anais Goepner Melendez, CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons
m 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 100 80 60 40 20 km
Challenging, panoramic high-altitude trail with impressive high-mountain scenery throughout from Villabassa in the Puster Valley to Longarone in the Italian province of Belluno.
difficult
Distance 104.6 km
44:00 h
8,285 m
8,851 m
2,635 m
582 m
The Dolomites High-Altitude Trail No. 3, like trails 1, 4 and 5, represents a crossing of the eastern Dolomites. However, the crossing takes place next to the eastern main ridge, so that large differences in altitude must be expected between the individual stages. Ten days should be expected for the ascent of the "Way of the Chamois". The high-altitude route places high demands on its walkers - this includes very good orientation skills, but also a high degree of strength, endurance and surefootedness. Some of the high-altitude trail has exposed via ferratas and free climbing passages (up to level II difficulty). Special features of the High Altitude Trail No. 3 are its contrast between the lonely mountain world and the hustle and bustle of the tourist destinations, as well as the often appearing evidence of the First World War. The trail crosses or touches the characteristically quite different Dolomite groups such as the Braies Dolomites, Sorapiss Group, Marmarole, Pelmo-Rite and Bosconero Group.

Author’s recommendation

There are numerous comprehensive panoramic views, e.g. from the Rifugio San Marco, from the Forcella Deona or from the Forcella de la Toanella.
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,635 m
Lowest point
582 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

  • The high-altitude trail can only be recommended to persevering mountaineers with sufficient alpine experience and climbing skills in secured and free terrain (up to difficulty level II). Absolute sure-footedness and freedom from vertigo as well as orientation skills are required!
  • There is a risk of falling rocks on steep mountain flanks and secured climbs! 
  • Be careful after prolonged rainfall, with residual snow and icing in early summer, as well as during fog and thunderstorms!
  • A solo ascent is not advised.

Tips and hints

Before the hike, find out about the current conditions on the Pioneer Trail (Monte Piana) (partly closed due to danger of falling rocks)!

Start

Villabassa (1,147 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.737835, 12.169433
DMS
46°44'16.2"N 12°10'10.0"E
UTM
33T 283759 5179922
w3w 
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Destination

Longarone

Turn-by-turn directions

 Stage 1: Villabassa - Prato Piazza

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Trail no. 15 leads from Villabassa with a considerable ascent southwards or south-eastwards up to the Putzalm. From there, continue left on trail no. 16 or 33 until you reach a fork. There turn right onto trail 33 and continue over scree and crags to the western shoulder of the Sarlkofel. Continue over the Sarlsattel, Sarlriedel and the eastern flank of the Sarlköfele to the Flodigsattel. Follow trail no. 40A around the Dürrenstein massif until you reach the Prato Piazza.

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Stage 2: Prato Piazza - Rifugio Bosi

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The second stage also requires a lot of fitness and attentiveness. Trail 37 first leads to the Dürrenstein hut, from there it is a steep uphill walk eastwards on an unmarked trail, then northwards to the Strudelkopf saddle. Trail 34 then leads down into the Helltal valley with war remains, so that the Strudelköpfe are hiked around. After the descent into the Höhlensteintal valley, trail no. 6 leads to the steep ascent (pioneer trail, danger of falling rocks!) to Monte Piano (north peak) and Monte Piana (south peak). A little later you reach the Rifugio Bosi on trail no. 122.

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Stage 3: Rifugio Bosi - Rifugio Vandelli

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On the asphalt road to Misurina or on the shortcut trail, the route descends in hairpin bends to Forcella Alta. A trail then branches off to the right and leads southwest down to the Dolomite road in Val Popena Bassa. Follow the road to the left until you reach a bend to the left, where trail 222 leads into Val Popena Alta. It goes to the Sella di Popena and under the walls of the Corno d'Angolo until reaching the Dolomite road at Passo Tre Croci. The climb (partly exposed, stairs, wire ropes) then follows on trail no. 215 high above the Val Sorapiss to the Rifugio Vandelli.

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Stage 4: Rifugio Vandelli - Bivacco Slataper

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This stage is the most technically difficult of the entire undertaking. Trail 215 and 242 lead westwards to Lago di Sorapiss and over steep scree gullies to the "Tonde de Sorapiss" high cirque. The south-west and south face of the Fopa di Mattia and the Croda Marcora respectively is crossed via the demanding (danger of falling rocks!) Cengia del Banco with impressive panoramic views. The next challenge immediately follows with the Via Attrezzata Francesco Berti via ferrata (up to C, free climbing sections up to II, KS set). The Bivacco Slataper is then reached via trail 246.

Section 5: Bivacco Slataper - Rifugio San Marco

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This crossing represents an enjoyable hike with imposing views of Torre dei Sabbioni, Croda Marcora and Monte Pelmo. Path 246 leads to this in the Forcella Grande,  before we follow path no. 226 down to the Rifugio San Marco.

Stage 6: Rifugio San Marco - San Vito di Cadore

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Trail no. 226 descends in serpentines southwards to a large scree slope, where a path branches off in a south-easterly direction to the Rifugio Scotter-Palatini. Number 226 points the way down to San Vito di Cadore.

Stage 7: San Vito di Cadore - Rifugio Venezia

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From San Vito di Cadore, we first climb to Sèrdes, then continue in the forest on trail no. 470. The trail becomes narrower and steeper before meeting a forest road. Turn right there and in a left-hand bend to the Tiera car park, where we again look out for n. 470. Mostly in the forest, later through mountain pines and larches, we climb to the Rifugio Venezia.

Stage 8: Rifugio Venezia - Rifugio Dolomites

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From the Rifugio, the trail first heads briefly southwards to Passo di Rutorto, where you turn left onto trail no. 475, which heads north-east. After about half an hour, you reach a junction where you keep to the right (trail 456 and 493). The trail enters the Val delle Fontanelle, then crosses meadows and woods to the "Ciampestrin" saddle. Continue east or southeast to a log cabin and at the next fork, turn right south to a small pond. A little later you will come to a natural path (456), which you follow to the left. This takes you to the Rifugio Talamini. Then there is the rather arduous, steep ascent to the Rifugio Dolomites at the summit of Monte Rite (trail 494, 478).

Stage 9: Rifugio Dolomites - Rifugio Bosconero

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From the Rifugio we first descend again to the Forcella Deona, then follow trail no. 479 steeply downhill in serpentines towards the south, then south-east. After about one and a half hours of descent, we reach the Cibiana Pass with the Rifugio Remauro. From there, the well-marked trail leads south in the forest, up to the eastern slope of Punta de Copada and then to an important fork. We take the middle path (482 and 485) and climb to the Forcella de le Ciavazole. The following descent through a scree gorge is very difficult and requires the utmost attention (danger of falling, pickaxe and crampons if necessary). At the following fork, we follow trail no. 485 to the Rifugio Bosconero.

Stage 10: Rifugio Bosconero - Bivacco Tovanella

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This stage again places high demands on fitness and technique - the entire southern Bosconero group is crossed. In early summer, ice axes and crampons are advisable. Trail no. 490 leads eastwards up to the scree gully between Sasso di Bosconero and Rocchetta Alta. There, trail 482 crosses and, keeping to the left, it is quite difficult to follow to the Forcella de la Toanella. This is followed by the very demanding traverse under the walls of the Dito di Toanella (danger of slipping!) and on the east side of the Cima di Busa to the Forcella del Viaz de le Ponte. Continue into the west side of the Rocchette de la Serra (steep drop, wire rope, chimney). Then follows one of the most challenging sections, the traverse on the climb under the walls of the Rocchette. From Porta de la Serra, the traverse becomes less demanding. Trail no. 482 finally leads down to the Bivacco Tovanella, which is quite steep in places.

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Stage 11: Bivacco Tovanella - Longarone

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The last stage is the scenic, partly steep descent to Longarone. To do this, trail no. 482 first leads to the Costa del Dou shoulder, then across meadows and through woods  down to Col Torondol. From there, continue in a south-easterly direction to the Col la Luni shoulder. Another waypoint is Col la Lol (cross) before descending to Longarone via Podenzoi.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

International train connections to Franzensfeste, continue with the local railway line to Villabassa.

Getting there

Via the Brenner motorway A22 (toll) to the exit Brixen/Vahrn (Pustertal), then on the state road (SS49-E66) further into Hochpustertal.

Coordinates

DD
46.737835, 12.169433
DMS
46°44'16.2"N 12°10'10.0"E
UTM
33T 283759 5179922
w3w 
///accredit.munches.charm
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

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Equipment

Trekking rucksack (approx. 50 litres) with rain cover, sturdy and comfortable shoes, if necessary a change of shoes, weatherproof and hard-wearing clothing in multiple layers, a change of clothes, telescopic poles, KS set, rockfall helmet, rope, ice axe, crampons, sun and rain protection, provisions and drinking water, first aid kit, pocket knife, mobile phone, headlamp, maps, travel documents, toilet bag and travel towel, hand washing powder and clothesline, if necessary. Camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, cooking equipment), if necessary hut equipment.

Localisation

Parts of this content were machine translated using German as the source language for the translation


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Rating

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Denis A
July 18, 2019 · Community
Hallo Community, ich plane den Alta Via 3 im August zu laufen und überlege die Übernachtung im Bivacco Tovanella zu überspringen und weiter bis Longarone zu laufen um Zeit zu sparen und weniger Gepäck zu tragen (Schlafsack, Isomatte) hat das jemand bereits gemacht und ist es gut machbar? Außerdem werde ich ab Etappe 4 alleine laufen. Hat da jemand Erfahrungen?
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Photos from others


Difficulty
difficult
Distance
104.6 km
Duration
44:00 h
Ascent
8,285 m
Descent
8,851 m
Highest point
2,635 m
Lowest point
582 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna Linear route

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